Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Happy Post--Skaneateles, NY Lavender Farm

Our daughter Raethan and her sweet husband came for a quick visit on Saturday. She and her brother, Nicarus put me in the car and whooshed me away 35 miles through country scenery filled with vineyards, farmland and scenic views to the Lockwood Lavender Farm in the Finger Lakes region. Outside of the village of Skaneateles (pronounced Skinny Atlas) this beautiful spot has been owned by the Lockwood family for 5 generations, where they raise sheep, harvest honey and grow beautiful lavender plants. Click on the photos for a better look.

The farm grows five varieties of lavender

Nicarus and Raethan, my darling kids

Picking lavender

There is a honey bee in this picture

I brought home this beautiful linen tea towel

My bouquet of lavender in the sweet vase the kids got for me
We bought honey too, made by the farm's bees who spend their days visiting the fragrant lavender plants. It is delicious. The gift shop was absolutely charming offering lavender soap, lotion, bouquets, books and other lavender products handmade on the farm.

A delightful morning.  Lavender is an herb of purification and protection. It has many uses and I know I will be returning time and again to the Lockwood Lavender Farm. Here is Lavender Farm's blog site if you would like to learn more. Lockwood Lavender Farm blog

Skaneateles Lake through the trees, looking over clumps of gorgeous lavender

Friday, June 28, 2013

Shamefully Sad Story

Struggling since yesterday as to whether or not to share this story. There is no happy ending here, and a promise I made was broken, though there was nothing I could really do.

Firstly, about five years ago, when our backyard garden was in its glory, fresh made raised beds and glorious veggies bursting forth, a rather tragic occurrence shook my little world. There was a sweet young rabbit in the garden having a snack on the squash blossoms. I spent a good hour watching him and sort of communing with him. There were many, many blossoms and already quite a few squash growing, so I did not begrudge this cute fellow his snack. Rabbits are very special to the Goddess and my garden is a witchy garden, planted with spells and songs.

A person known to me who I will not name decided that this rabbit had no business in the garden. Worse than Farmer MacGregor from Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit story, this person took a sharp-pointed long tool and stabbed the rabbit. I was in the house and was alarmed to hear horrible screams. The screams went on and on as it took a while, and many strikes for this young rabbit to be killed. I had never heard such screams from an animal before. I screamed and raged and wept, so sickened by this awful death. And I promised then and there, to the Goddess and the garden spirits, that all would be protected here in this garden. No living creature would ever have to suffer such a death.

Now, yesterday, as the backyard was being mowed, a raccoon was discovered under our blue arctic willow shrub. At first not moving, we all thought it was dead. But after a bit, it moved its head slightly and it became quite apparent that this was a sick raccoon, possibly in early stages of rabies.

Got onto the phone to the wild animal control officer and left a message. We were very concerned about this sick raccoon, especially if it was rabid and left our yard for some other place. I think someone called the police, not quite sure of this actually, but a sheriff's deputy arrived to assess the situation. Everyone takes sick wild animals very seriously.

Raccoon under the willow shrub in my yard yesterday

The general consensus was that the raccoon was either very sick, or possibly injured from being hit by a car and was suffering. The deputy decided to shoot the raccoon to put it out of its misery, especially in case it tried to escape the backyard and put someone at risk.

My heart sank, but I agreed, since I could fully well see that this raccoon was in a bad way. I raced into the house so I wouldn't have to watch, and gasped a few seconds later as the very loud gunshot exploded in the backyard.  The wild animal control officer showed up a few minutes later to take the body away.

That would have been the end of it, except later that afternoon, I was told by my husband that in fact the deputy MISSED the head shot, and hit the raccoon in the shoulder. The raccoon bit down on the pole with the loop on the end as the animal control fellow was trying to catch it and put it in a cage. It would not let go of the pole and there was quite a struggle to get the raccoon into the cage. The idiot deputy from less than two feet away wounded this raccoon and now this creature was not only sick, but injured.

I know that I could not have done anything about this, but another animal was suffering in my garden again and I am sick about it. I am angry at the officer and at the whole situation. What started as a compassionate rescue turned into a mess.

That's the story and I hope you don't mind my rambling on about it.

p.s. I do support our law enforcement officers, but this particularly individual did a bad job.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Surprise Gift

My husband and I took a drive out into the country the other day. Driving around Constantia, West Monroe, Central Square and all the farms and meadows in between. Keeping an eye out for photo opportunities, but thwarted by a powerful summer storm. Bolts of lightning from the hand of Thor, torrential rain, booming thunder claps. Thrilling, but a little scary for the driver (me!).

So we turned Beatrix back to a southerly direction and headed home. (Beatrix is my copper-colored Kia, btw).

Back into our own stomping grounds to find, as we stopped at a red light in front of a car dealership, a great photo op! "Quick, get a picture before the traffic light changes!"

Hubby grabs Elphie (my Canon Powershot Elph 300...and yes, I do name most of the objects in my life; my laptop is named Midnight).

Anyway, not the greatest angle, but traffic was beginning to move and this fellow or lady didn't cooperate with a profile shot.

At first, it looks like a type of water snake, but it is in fact a great blue heron, hunting for frogs in a pond in front of a new car dealer, right next to a heavily trafficked road. It's a shame that these beautiful creatures have to live in a human environment of car fumes, noise and urban sprawl. But Nature finds a way.

It was a delight to see this wonderful bird, especially after being foiled out in the countryside. Nature is ready to give you gift at any moment, you just have to keep your eyes open.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Moonlight and Sunlight

What a Full Moon last night!! Did you see it? By great good fortune the sky was clear while that large SuperMoon ascended. It was huge. To my eye, it glowed a pale pink as it rose, appropriate for the name Strawberry Moon. Our deck allows a great view of the rising moon. I did not even try to photograph it, as previous attempts have not been very successful. Clouds did move in but only added to the beauty. The photo below shows the pinkish color that I saw last night.

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We are having a heat wave, which of course one would expect in the summer. Over 95 degrees F, sunny and somewhat humid. My newly planted containers are wilting as I look at them. Time for more watering.

On this hot Sunday, here are some funny garden images I found.

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Bright blessings from Robin!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Close Shave

Shetland Sheepdogs, commonly called Shelties, have a very thick coat. A thick undercoat and a top coat. Perfect for winter around here, not so much in summer. Plus if left unbrushed during hectic times, mats form and the poor dog looks like a homeless orphan.

Our Gwennie was in dire need, so yesterday being the Summer Solstice, what better time to get our girl to the groomers for a summer styling. She feels ten pounds lighter, and is no longer panting because of the heavy hair.

She does NOT look funny. She looks cool, calm and collected.

Before Picture:
After Picture:
To us, she looks like a puppy, A sweet face, and a fluffy "fox tail", too.

Unfortunately, the kittens are scared to death of her. She neither looks or smells like herself. As soon as I brought her home yesterday, they took one look, puffed up their tails, arched their backs and then fled to parts unknown. They are still creeping around this morning, taking quick peeks at this strange creature. So funny. Gwennie is rather pleased about the kittens' behavior, as she is not all that fond of them!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Litha--Summer Solstice

Sending out loving greetings today as we celebrate the Summer Solstice. Wishing you Light and Happiness on Litha.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gather ye rosebuds....and soap......and books.

Ooooh!! A sunny day! At least for the moment! Must run outside!!! The weather has been so rainy, even some hail the other day. I think I saw some robins with webbed feet.

You know what Friday is? This Friday, the 20th of June? Of course you do. Summer solstice is arriving, or as Wiccans call it, Litha. The longer light in the evenings has been enjoyable. What is nicer than sitting outside on the porch of an evening, listening to the birds chatter before their bedtimes? The garden takes on a different look, subtle and soft. White blooms start to glow and beckon. If there be fairies, they are warming up the strings of their musical tools, preparing for a summer night's concert.

Look at these roses I procured at our grocery store, Wegmans!!!

I wanted to show off the soaps I received from The Publicist at the blog, The Maaaaa of Pricilla 
AbbyGoat from the farm recently birthed triplets, yes three boys! And she and The Publicist needed help naming these little rascals. The three names I submitted were selected!! Ricky, Rudy and Rory! They are adorable, go take a look! The prize? I got to choose three soaps made from the milk of the wonderful goats!
Here they are: Click on the photos to see better. The bottom photo shows Pricilla, grandmother goat of Abby's kids.

One of the ways I occupied myself during the long hours in hospital rooms, surgery waiting areas, and many weeks of being my husband's caregiver was to read. And boy did I go through some books. Is there any room left in my brain to hold any more words? (of course!!) I was stacking the books up the other day and trying to figure out where to put some more book shelves.

As I said, it is sunny and beautiful today, so I want to take advantage. Take care and hope all is well where you are!

Sorry, Pixie, you are an indoor cat, you are not allowed to come outside with me. Okay?

Scary Pixie

Friday, June 14, 2013

Plants and Pics

Rainy and cool, the neighborhood is lush and green. Weeds are thriving exceptionally well. Our garden has been quite neglected and ignored, but plants from the plant farm await pots and new perennials await the proper placement. We will get to it soon.

Hurry up and plant us, for crying out loud
Husband update: doing great, feeling better, getting stronger, gained 10 pounds, very little pain!! Hurray!!

Here are some "kitten" pictures. They turned one year old in May! How time flies with these sweet little ones.

Window Bath
Window Bath continued
Pyewacket smiling in his sleep
Pixie showing us her pretty calico colors

Have to include our Gwennie, too
Happy Weekend! Hugs from Robin.